“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) Living As Christians Should Live (R.J. Evans)
2) Are You Noble-Minded? (Rick Lanning)
3) “Let This One Pass” (Steve Patton)
Living As Christians Should Live
Throughout history, men generally have been selfish and lacked genuine concern for God and others. In recent years, we have had many describe those of this world as the “Me” generation. And, not to be cynical, but in reality, we live in a world where most people think only of themselves and their own interests. So many think nothing of using or taking advantage of others; they show hatred, envy, and jealousy toward those within their circle of friends and associates; they never show sympathy, or are willing to empathize with others; and they seek to gratify and fulfill whatever desires they have for themselves.
While Jesus was here on earth, He taught many wonderful lessons in what is referred to as “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matt. 5 – 7). One thing for certain, what He teaches “goes against the grain” of what men naturally tend to do in their day-to-day living. In the sermon, He taught the blessings of serving God; being examples to others (salt/city/light); the sin of committing murder and adultery in one’s heart; going the second mile; loving and praying for our enemies; not doing our good works for show; and a host of other great lessons. This sermon tells us how we ought to live, not as the world lives, but according to God’s will for our lives.
But when it comes to living the kind of life that pleases God, and not self, there are many other instructions throughout God’s Word. In this article, here’s just a sampling of living as Christians should live:
1. Be open to and heed correction. “The ear that hears the reproof of life will abide among the wise” (Prov. 15: 31). The Apostle Peter had to correct and rebuke Simon the sorcerer for his attempting to purchase the power of laying his hands on others to impart miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:9-25). The Apostle Paul had to openly correct the Apostle Peter by withstanding him to the face for being a hypocrite at Antioch (Gal. 2:11-14).
2. Be interested and considerate of others. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). This characterized the life of the Apostle Paul. He consistently prayed for his brethren, as is evidenced in all his epistles. Beyond all his physical difficulties, he stated: “Besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: My deep concern for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28).
3. See ourselves realistically. “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3). Again, this involves not being conceited and lifted up with pride (Phil. 2:3).
4. Rejoice with others when they are happy and cry with them when they are sad. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). This eliminates envy and jealousy. Again, “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26).
5. Sympathize and empathize with others. We do this when we practice what is sometimes called “The Golden Rule.” “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12).
6. Deny ourselves. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). And, of course, denying self and following Christ involves serving others. The Apostle Paul said it this way: “And I will gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved” (2 Cor. 12:15).
Oh, what a blessing it is when we are living as Christians should live. Many other things could be mentioned, but this should be sufficient to help us see the need to do what the Lord said in Revelation 2:10: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
— Via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, September 29, 2019
“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to his edification” (Romans 15:2, NASB).
Are You Noble-Minded?
“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). On Paul’s second missionary journey, he came for the first time to preach the gospel of Christ in the regions of Macedonia and Achaia (modern Greece). He preached the gospel in the great cities of Philippi and Thessalonica, but when persecution arose he moved on to the city of Berea. At this place, the above remarkable statement is made about the Jews who heard the word of God proclaimed. Luke records that they were more noble-minded than the audience in Thessalonica. Notice the reasons given for this noble attitude:
1. The text says “they received the word with great eagerness.” Literally, the word eagerness means, “a rushing forward.” As one would rush forward to greet and hug an old friend, these noble-minded individuals “rushed forward” to eagerly receive the word of God. But although they were eager, the next phrase teaches us that they were in no way gullible.
2. Secondly, the text says that they were “examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” The word examined means “to sift,” or “to make careful and exact research.” These individuals were searching for the truth. They were sifting through the word of God as an archaeologist sifts through the dirt at an ancient tell. An archaeologist does not use a bulldozer to uncover the remains of civilizations long buried. He carefully and patiently examines every inch of dirt to find the valuable treasures that are waiting to be discovered. The Bereans were sifters, carefully examining the word of God. They had the Old Testament Scriptures, and when Paul and Silas came preaching Jesus, and they carefully examined the Scriptures to make sure that these things were so.
Are you noble-minded? Do you carefully compare what you are taught by religious teachers with the revealed will of God found in the Bible?
— Via Online Articles of the Northwest church of Christ, New Hope, Minnesota, April 12, 2012
“Let This One Pass”
He had been walking all morning and was tired. The day was hot and the journey was not over. He was near a town full of people who didn’t like his kind. So he sat down by a well and sent his friends into town to get some food. A Samaritan woman came to the well to get water, someone his people had nothing to do with. This was certainly a time to just ignore the woman and quietly wait for his friends to return with some food. But Jesus didn’t do that. Though everything about the situation said, “Let this one pass,” He did not do it. Here was a soul to teach.
The result was a town full of people came out to hear the words of Jesus and many people were led to the Lord. Who woulda thought!
This account from John’s gospel (4:1-42) illustrates how open doors are often where we least expect them. The secret is being open and aware to the souls around you. We fill our mind with our jobs, our daily chores, our recreation and entertainment, our emails, games, family and friends. Nothing wrong with that. Except all those things bring us into contact with souls – lost souls – and we must see them that way. I know every conversation we have can’t include an offer of spiritual teaching. However, if we are sensitive and thoughtful about other’s lives throughout the day we will begin to see how many open doors God places before us. There are Christians in this congregation today who are here because someone saw them as a friend, neighbor or associate in need of the Lord. And they talked to them.
How many open doors will be placed in front of you this week? Pray for opportunities and then keep yourself aware each day of doors God opens. God will lead you to a soul.
— Via the University church of Christ, Tampa, Florida
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)